Tata Maurice is a familiar crafts vendor at the Mole. Since the reopening of the Strand Hotel, he has seen his sales improve.
Jennifer Muprayi has been selling her crafts for the past eight years to tourists at Swakopmund’s popular Mole where the Strand Hotel is the anchor establishment.
The Strand Hotel in Swakopmund plays a major role in the livelihood of craft traders who exhibit their arts and craft products at the popular Mole on a daily basis. While some traders believe their businesses are doing better than when the hotel was under construction, others say more support from the local public could help stretch their pockets just a bit further.
Craft trader Bau Gonyora is excited, saying his business has taken a positive turn since the hotel opened its doors. “I recall the days when the hotel was demolished and there was little movement of tourists in the area. This affected my business severely and I went home many times with nothing to put on the table. However, since the hotel opened its doors last year, business has certainly picked up and I am now excited about the future of myself and my fellow traders. We do need more local support though. Support from our own people would make a big difference in our lives.”
Jennifer Chido Muprayi, a craft trader since 2008, expressed her delight at the positive impact the Strand Hotel has had on her business. “I am very happy that the construction of Strand Hotel was completed because it definitely brings more tourists and even locals to the Mole which results in more sales for us traders. I see a positive difference in my revenue since the opening compared to the time the hotel was first demolished and even during construction. I am positive that things can only get better and I would like to urge the local community to also support us.”
Tata Maurice reiterated the words of Gonyora and Muprayi saying things are definitely looking up for them. He is one of the optimistic traders who believed business will improve immensely for them once the Strand Hotel has come to life.“While I am not yet where I want to be, I am happy that I can put bread on the table for my family. Sometimes business is slow but having the right attitude is what keeps me going. It is such a specialized trade that requires time, dedication and passion and if only more people of the local community can support us other than tourists, it will be so much more rewarding” he said.
The Ohlthaver & List Group Manager, External Relations, Roux-che Locke commented “we are happy to support the communities in which we operate and create opportunities to improve the livelihoods of others. The O&L culture embraces diversity across our businesses and beyond, as such we support initiatives that are sustainable, enhance the lives of community members and conserve our natural resources. I would like to urge locals and tourists alike to support the craft traders with their beautiful art which they do with so much passion and commitment.”